John Robertson presents stand-up improv show Dominant with a terrifying yet wonderful anarchy. My once protective bubble of sitting in the back, sporting my press pass, was shattered as Robertson climbed across empty seats (something this show definitely didn’t deserve) and I found myself eye to eye with this exuberant man. Red-faced, I moved in and became part of the audience, which in turn became part of the show.
From there, no audience member was safe. Another reviewer was merely inches from having his face buried into the Robertson’s crotch. Three ladies were called whores (they later told me that was a rather new experience for them).
There is some hint of a theme in the show. That being Robertson’s sexual awakening – his realisation that he is a ‘dominant.’ Yes, the BDSM kind of dominant. And from that he seeks to conquer his audience – to ‘dominate’ in other words. And Robertson exercises control over his audience masterfully as he bounces around the room, getting nearly everyone to pipe up.
Being brought up on stage to whip Robertson as he performed Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ was not how I expected my day to go but was a suitable end to this outrageous show. Prepare to be thrown from your comfort zone – and for a lot of sex talk too, so maybe don’t bring the family. John Robertson offers possibly one of the most memorable and unpredictable shows this year’s Fringe has to offer.
Words: Calum Wilson
John Robertson: Dominant, The Stand Comedy Club, Aug 12-27 (not 14), 6.15pm